, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

rendering beeswax 1

Beeswax is another major hive product, though neither its uses nor its value are as widely known as those of honey.

From the raw honey comb above, the residue of wax that is left over looks very dirty and full of debris.

rendering beewsax 2rendering beeswax 7

Place the wax in a double boiler, add  double the amount of water, and heat slowly until all the wax has melted. Turn off the heat and allow the wax to set. The wax will always set above the water.

rendering beeswax 3 rendering beeswax 4

When the wax is set, use a sharp knife to prize the wax out of the pot. Discard the water down an outside drain. The water will be very full of the impurities, but some will still remain in the  set wax. Scrape off as much as you can.

rendering beeswax 5

Place the wax again in the double boiler and melt on a low heat. Using an old stocking, place it over your mold stretched tightly. Tip: Use a lot of newspaper in this work, as the wax tends to get everywhere. NB. Never wash any pots or utensils you may have used in the the dishwasher.

When the wax is melted pour into your mold and the residues will remain behind.

Discard your old stocking.

rendering beeswax 6

Result rendered beeswax ready to use in crafts.

Beeswax is used industrially in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, polishes, and candles. Uses for beeswax on a small scale include:

lost-wax casting of metals
wax printing and batiking of cloth
polishes for wood and leather
strengthening and waterproofing thread for sewing
treatment of cracked hooves of domestic animals
making of comb foundation or wax starter for beehives.

Most methods of rendering wax use hot water to melt it. They are based on the fact that beeswax floats in water. A few words of caution are in order, however:

Never use iron, zinc, brass, or copper containers for beeswax, as they discolor the wax. Use enameled aluminum containers.
Be careful with melted beeswax, since it is highly flammable. Do not allow the beeswax-water mixture to boil vigorously. Boiling beeswax lowers its quality by making it more brittle.
Blocks of rendered beeswax can be stored in cool, dry places for long periods without harm. They should be wrapped in paper or plastic.
Never store beeswax near pesticides. Beeswax absorbs many such chemicals, and they can kill bees if this wax is used to make comb foundation.